Good Oral Hygiene Habits That Will Put You On The “Nice List”

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA- We at Robert M. Walley, D.D.S can’t stuff coal in your stocking this year, but we can determine if you’re on our dental hygiene “nice list.”

Keeping your teeth and gums clean between appointments allows us to better perform necessary procedures and care for your smile. When there’s less lingering plaque and stubborn tartar for our hygienists to tackle, it streamlines your visit with us. Practicing good oral hygiene will also help you avert all sorts of dental conditions, like tooth decay, sensitivity and gum disease.

“Professional care is important. We recommend patients visit us every three to six months for a thorough cleaning,” says San Francisco dentist Dr. Robert M. Walley. “With that said, consistent at-home care is vital for a truly healthy mouth.”

While you may keep your children on their best behavior with the popular Elf on the Shelf as the holidays approach, there’s no such thing as a “dentist on a shelf” to entice us to keep our oral health in check. Instead, we’ve assembled some helpful guidelines to ensure you stay on our dental hygiene nice list this holiday season. 

1.     Brush for two minutes twice daily.  Not 30 seconds. Not a minute and a half. Two minutes! This will ensure you reach every corner of the mouth. Plaque can be stubborn, and a speedy brushing routine just won’t cut it. Adding an extra minute to your dental hygiene routine can make a big difference in your smile’s health.

 2.     Brush correctly. With that said, it’s important to brush smart. With a soft bristled    toothbrush (these are gentler on gums), brush softly in circular motions. Be sure to address the gum line, tongue and molars. We recommend Sonicare toothbrushes for an optimal clean.

 3.     Use an antimicrobial mouthwash. In addition to giving you minty fresh breath, a quick swish of mouthwash ousts dangerous bacteria and lingering food particles. Strengths vary by brand, so follow the dosage recommendation on the back of the bottle.

 4.     Don’t forget to floss! Food particles left wedged between teeth contribute to gum disease, cavities and unpleasant breath. Flossing is the best way to remove plaque, but many Americans fail to implement this practice into their oral hygiene routine. We encourage you to be “nice” to your teeth this season by flossing!

 5.     Inspect your smile. Even the most detailed oral hygiene routines can leave behind food particles. To be sure your smile is free of plaque and other threats to your oral health, take advantage of your bathroom mirror. For a few seconds, inspect teeth and gums for food particles, yellowing, cavities, gum recession and flattened molar surfaces (a sign of excessive tooth grinding). If you spot any abnormalities that can’t be fixed by added brushing, let us know. Identifying issues early at home often leads to simpler diagnosis and treatment.  

Do you have more questions about how to keep teeth sparkling between appointments and stay on our nice list? Don’t hesitate to visit us. Dr. Walley and our friendly staff are eager to give you the gift of healthy teeth and gums this Christmas.